PRISM Quartet

PRISM with The Crossing Choir, Month of Moderns III

PRISM joins The Crossing Choir to perform the world premiere of Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century, commissioned by The Crossing for their annual Month of Moderns Festival. Known for evocative texts in sparse, pensive settings, Bryars’ music has been praised for its “integrity and lucidity.” (The Guardian). The Fifth Century is a series of reflections on eternity set to texts by the 17th-century metaphysical author Thomas Traherne.

This concert is presented by The Crossing with support from The Knight Foundation.

Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century (2014, world premiere, composed for The Crossing and PRISM)
Stratis Minakakis: Monteverdi Responsories (2008)
Tonu Korvits: Hymns from the Western Coast (2009)


The Crossing is a twenty-four-member professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally dedicated to new music. Originally formed by a group of friends in 2005, the ensemble has since grown exponentially and “has made a name for itself in recent years as a champion of new music.” (The New York Times 2/14).  Highly sought-after for collaborative projects, The Crossing was the resident choir of the Spoleto Festival, Italy in 2007; appeared at Miller Theatre of Columbia University (in the American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers) with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); performed during Bang on a Can’s first Philadelphia Marathon; and has appeared with Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, red fish blue fish, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, Dolce Suono; and in the summer of 2013, The Rolling Stones.

The Crossing frequently commissions works and has presented over 40 world premieres. Current projects include commissions with John Luther Adams, Ted Hearne, Joel Puckett, Toivo Tulev, and Gavin Bryars.  The ensemble recently released two recordings on the Innova label: Christmas Daybreak – with world premiere recordings of James MacMillan and Gabriel Jackson—and I want to live with the complete choral works for women by David Lang. In January of 2014, The Crossing made its Carnegie Hall debut with The American Composers Orchestra, and in April of 2014, its Disney Hall debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Donald Nally is conductor of The Crossing, director of choral organizations at Northwestern University, and chorus master of The Chicago Bach Project.  He has held distinguished tenures as chorus master for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Spoleto USA, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has served as artistic director of the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati and the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, recipient of the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music. Among the many ensembles Donald has guest conducted are the Latvian State Choir in Riga, the Grant Park Symphony Chorus in Chicago, the Philharmonic Chorus of London, and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, His ensembles have sung with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet, Spoleto USA, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, and I.C.E.; his work is heard on numerous recordings on the Chandos, Navona, and Innova record labels.  In 2012 Donald received both the alumni merit award from Westminster Choir College and the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal from Chorus America. His book, Conversations with Joseph Flummerfelt, was published in 2011.

To learn more about the composers, visit their websites: 
Gavin Bryars (b. 1943); Schott Music news release with his reflections on The Fifth Century
Stratis Minakakis (b. 1979)
Tonu Korvits (b. 1969)

Crane Art's Icebox
1400 North American Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

July 12, 2014
7:00 PM

27 general admission; $18 students/seniors